As part of measures employed to stamp out racism from football, Premier League captains have revealed that players will still take the knee before some games this campaign.
It has been confirmed that players will take the knee during the opening and closing phases of Premier League matches.
There will also be specific No Room For Racism games in October, April and in December, which will see players taking the knee before kick off.
This method adopted by the Premier League to clamp down on racism has received mixed reactions overtime, with some players feeling it doesn’t yield the right results.
Former Crystal Palace forward Wifred Zaha felt that players taking the knee is a “degrading” act.
Wilfred Zaha made his feelings known whist speaking to FT Business of Football conference.
The 30-year-old expressed that it became a mere formality and as such he wasn’t going to participate in doing such.
He said: “I think the meaning behind the whole thing is becoming something that we just do now. That’s not enough. I’m not going to take the knee.”
Zaha left Crystal Palace at the end of the 2022/23 season after refusing to sign a new deal with the club.
He has afterwards joined Turkish giants, Galatasaray on a three-year deal, which is valid until June 2026.
What led to Premier League players taking the knee?
The taking of the knee gesture has been applied by players since the gruesome murder of George Floyd.
The resultant Black Lives Matter protests which ensued as a result of Floyd’s death is also another reason why it has been used.
Premier League captain have spoken in oneness with their belief that racism should be totally eradicated.
They also shared their dedication to using their platform to help in the fight against the menace called racism.
They said: “We are committed to using our platform to help celebrate diversity and show our support in the fight against racism.”
Premier League captains also expressed their belief on diversity, stating that it “is central to the success of football”.
The video which showed the killing of George Floyd in May 2020, led to several remonstrations opposing racial inequality in the United States and beyond.
Derek Chauvin, the police officer that murdered Floyd was convicted in December 2021 and has since been sentenced to over 22 years behind bars.
Due to pusbacks over the effects of taking the knee, which was a constant feature in games when it was first introduced, the Premier League opted to reduce it to only stipulated matchdays.
The 2023/24 season will also see it being done in that manner as they hope to ensure that the gesture yields the needed result.
Vincent Kompany’s Burnley and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City kick off the 2023/24 season on Friday, August 11, 2023.
The encounter will be played at Turf Moor and it would signal the commencement of a 38-game grueling season for both teams.